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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 23, 2009 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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and then to go into gaza and to experience the attacks in gaza, whether it was artillery strikes, bombs, the different challenges people face because of the blockade of goods and services. it's a very, very difficult place to work. .. kill the 2 of them. i went with bbc because there was some controversy. there were rumblingss that it
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was not the actions of the israeli defense forces, that it was a rocket that come in and killed them. i went with bbc to do investigation, they followed me, what is it like when human-rights what goes in some place. using my knowledge and understanding of the weapons that we look at when we go, it was difficult, i have 2 little girls, 6 and 8, to walking to this gentleman's living room, the brains of his daughter were still on the ceiling, very difficult for me and for him, i can hardly imagine. then to stand there and piece together where the tank had been, looking for the debris, trying to understand how we think when we go some place, i am looking for evidence, i am looking for forensic evidence. part of our work is to do interviews, speak to people, take those interviews, bounce
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them off of other interviews we do individually so no one will interrupt each other or influence each other, corroborate that information with hospital records, but for me it is forensic evidence, i was looking for pieces of hot rocket or a tank shell. i have seen plenty of 120 mm heat rounds, tank rounds that they fire. if you know anything about tanks, and munitions, a lot of kinetic energy, an awful lot of kinetic energy, and it is made to go into an armored vehicle, it is not made to going to somebody's home so that kinetic energy has to go some place. there is nothing here in this house. let's go next door. let's go down, we went to the next house, walked up and in the next building, we found pieces and started to pull apart, pulled about of the walls and put together in 120 mm high explosive anti-tank shell. that is what i do.
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i go in and look for that forensic evidence. as i stood there, watching the fighting, there were questions and concerns about whether or not israel was using like phosphorus, one of the things i did when we went in was find the american manufacturer, 20-year-old white phosphorous shells and show that they had been used, a hospital had been hit and burned to the ground, that we had a you and facility hit and burned, you and school hit and burned and civilians killed. we look at evidence of hamas and hamas's shielding, were the shielding, were they operating in areas that were endangering civilians? i would like to point all of you out that in two weeks, god willing, we will have a report that is being published, specifically on because of attacks and shielding issue of hamas. we put out a report on one of the things hamas used, they used
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the war as a shield, they used the war as a shield for them to perpetrator tax and abuses where they went around gaza and met with many gaza civilians who had either family members kneecaped or killed, drag out and shot with a message, some had family members killed because they either assisted the israelis or to have been part of the fog -- fatah the political party opposing hamas. they call a press conference to denounce our report. that shows the impact we have. whenever area we going to, we are always looking at how all of the actors are performing, what they are doing, so that we can report on any abuse of international humanitarian law. i would like to close with just one bright ray, one glimmer to lift us up before we go into a
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q&a. i just want to say sometimes people ask how do you do it? how do you keep going on? i want to say this, give 2 things here. one is, i look at soldiers, and i look at civilians. soldiers, american soldiers in iraq and afghanistan, they are there for lengthy force, the civilians live there, i looktou civilians live there, i look at them, their hope, have that fantastic energy, tell their stories, it is important, the work we're doing, so we can get
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the truth out, we can be the filter. in the final analysis, it is human rights watch, it is that human energy we feed upon. i want to thank you for coming, listening to me this evening and i welcome any questions. [applause] >> we can take questions a couple of ways. we can take a few standing up questions too. you talked about putting pressure on governments, formal government to end the sale of a horrific weapons, a lot of weapons vessel by illegal arms dealers. is there something being done? >> great question. we actually have a group within human rights watch, it is a difficult title, the business and human rights division, they do more than business, part of
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the work they do is tracking, we work with people out there who are tracking the movement of small arms. we do what we call name and shame. if we are able to produce reports or put press releases out where we can name the individuals who are moving weapons or assist in the tracking of weapons, we certainly do that. one of the problems we face is we are rather thin when it comes down to it. it is a tough nut to crack. where do you put your resources. we are not have the resources in this area, it is certainly something we follow when we are able to. >> to are the largest benefactors to human-rights watch? >> one of the questions i fail to ask is where do we receive our money from? human-rights watch takes no money from any government. we made a decision that to take money from government would
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either make us behold and to that government or a pier that we had doing their bidding. so it would be inappropriate for us to do that. so we take money from foundations or from individuals. so if we receive money from the ford foundation and others, i hope you join the ranks. >> does human-rights watch have any experience in car for? >> we have worked on guard for. we attempted to expose what was
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going on. we have numerous reports on our web site and i welcome you to look at it. one of the other things we are trying to push for are things like no-fly zones so that the government is not able to go in and bomb civilian populations from helicopters or planes. these are things that are easy for them to do and hard to stop. if you will allow me. one of the things -- i personally find it difficult, something that i see, often times especially with regard to africa, human-rights abuses i looked through or view through a racist lens. look at how the united states responded to the crisis in kosovo when albanians were being
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killed, nato went in with troops, bombs were dropped, we occupied the nation for many years and in africa, what does the u.s. government do? that is something we need to get past. we work -- if there's a bad spot in the world we are going to be there. the only place where we have a very hard time operating is north korea and is fairly obvious why. >> the world affairs council has been offered to take a delegation to north korea if you can join us in august. we have just announced it. are there any more dilemmas you face when working in the field? >> the dilemmas we face in the field are manifold, one is access. you can't always go on a visa, sometimes you need to find more interesting ways to get into a country. that is one problem we have.
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another is look at what happens when your access is restricted or potentially you could be taken into custody. you saw the video on georgia, the russians set up many checkpoints and they were not allowing us to go into the district where the fighting was happening which was very important to me. after the first day, speaking to someone who knows the country like the back of his hand, he said marc, there's a road over the mountain, it takes 3 hours, we will get there no problem. after driving over this goat trail for 3 hours, we get to glory district and there is yet another russian checkpoint. 3 hours in his car, i don't want to drive back on this road and here we are facing this russian checkpoint. can we get you a coca-cola, what do you need? you try to find that checkpoint, we will let you through and you're able to get into an area
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and see what you need to see. there was active fighting going on. we were wearing black vests at certain points during that conflict. it depends on what the level of danger is. i look at lebanon, i was there when the bombs were falling. i saw a car blown up in front of me. there are obviously physical constraints and you look at the other actors. is a non see actor going to take us, do we have security problems, and there is the issue of, when you are doing your work, if i am interviewing a civilian and all the sudden hezbollah shows up, that will influence that interview. i can no longer interview that person. you have to have that person leave, explain to that individual you cannot finish the interview, get back if you can,
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try to determine if that is a poisoned interview. there are number of things that press people deal with all the time. it can be dangerous work. >> to what extent is your work affected by the ban on journalism during the war on gaza? >> that is a perfect example of complete lack of access. i had to stand on the armistice line. not only could depress not get in the human rights monitors were not getting in. you have to take advantage. i was able to stand and watch the fighting. we could see a white phosphorous and comment to the press as it was going in, it was nice that the bbc was there and i was able to speak and explain what was going on. you had some value added, but for me it was interesting to look at what helicopters were flying, what aircraft, the munitions being used, the time
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that munitions are being employed, and once you go in, you had this feeding frenzy with the press, the human rights monitors, it was a bizarre situation i had never encountered before. we had the luxury of having a palestinian who works for us on contract with human-rights watch, he lives in gaza and he was able to report to us to some extent but his wife was pregnant, you can imagine he was very concerned about getting to the hospital during the conflict and his father was killed by an israeli air strike. it was a very difficult time for us. >> you said you were tasked with determining a link between saddam hussein and the perpetrators of 9/11. were you pressured into finding such a link even when he felt none existed? >> there was never overpressure as far as i am concerned. i think, i hope you can understand this, there was a feeling that we are going to
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work, we are marching to war and whatever you do will fit that model and fit that -- it was never stated. there was very much this feeling, there was discussion, certainly, among the analysts, i remember is clearly speaking to my counterpart in the cia on a secure phone, talking to her about why are we doing this? are we rushing to war? there was discussion, it was never over t. >> please describe your relationship with the international court of justice and the international criminal court. do any of your investigations lead to an indictment, have you ever provided any security in belligerent situations or were you provided security? >> we don't really -- you are looking at my security. my wits and my close. and which are really
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questionable. the human rights watch was an organization that press for the icc's creation and that has been the hallmark of our work. we have people who work closely with the icc earn. not only that but other bodies, the one against slobodan milosevic, we had people who testified at them. we were called upon to testify as witnesses and bring evidence before world courts. >> a little bit on the side. why did the u.s. they performed so badly in the occupation of iraq in your opinion? >> if i can point you to a fine film, it is called no end in sight, it was an academy award nominated film, sadly did not win. i figure prominently in the movie. it really does a fine job of
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going through why the occupation failed, and eventually the insurgency came to the, it points to some decisions such as disbanding the army, the failure to house security from the building, to have enough forces on the ground, it is very non-partisan, a very factual account called no end inside, i definitely recommend that the wall. >> what is your position on indiscriminate usage of rockets on civilians and what is your position on using hospitals, schools and mosques as military bases? >> that is a clear and easy one. any use of indiscriminate rockets, whether they would be the hezbollah use of rockets during the war against israel during the war of 2006 or the rocket fire that has gone for the last 8 years, their war crimes, because of the desire to
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hurt and harm civilians. we have put out press releases and as you know in 2 weeks -- in charlie wi end have another report on qassam rockets, it does not absolve the other actor from necessity to adhere to the geneva conventions. >> how and where was human rights watch founded and by who? >> i have been there for 6 years. human rights watch started as helsinki watch which looked at the old soviet union and how people were being treated and it grew and has taken on a larger mandate. if you look at our web site you can find out more about it. >> what does the senator feinstein bill do? do we have the name and number? >> to me have the name and number?
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it is outside on the paperwork, the civilian cluster protection act, it escapes my mind right now. what it does is simply states that the u.s. can only employ cluster munitions in areas that are not populated by civilians and also must have a dud rate of 1% or less, they have to work 98% of the time. a solid build. it gets us 90% of the way to being on board the current treaty. if i may add, with the u.k. and germany, canada, some of our major allies, it is not just the whole ec. >> in iraq, can you tell us about the water and electricity and matters of daily living, human-rights, are you working with the obama administration on
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conditions in guantanamo bay? >> we have people who work in iraq, i don't know the specific conditions as far as electricity and water. munitions are by issue. if it goes boom, they call me. as far as working on guantanamo bay, we have had people in guantanamo bay at the hearings since they began. actually sitting in on the hearing during all of them as far as we were allowed. so we have been very active in that. to speak about the current situation with torture and the question about whether or not we should just say okay, we understand that things were done, we need to move forward, we have four torture memos out, and that is just the outer layer of the onion. you cannot move forward unless you have found out what has happened in the past and we account for the past and be sure that those things will not happen again. if there have been individuals who have perpetrated illegal
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acts, they have to be accountable, we are a nation of laws, we must here to those laws at all times no matter how painful they are. in any human rights abuse, if we would have said, that was really bad back then, but let's get past it, look at the dirty war in argentina, you can't say that, look at the holocaust, what would have happened if we had said that turn the page and forget about it, that is not acceptable. >> because human-rights watch have any people working or reporting from iran in any way? >> do we have people in iran? we do reporting on iran. we don't know who is in iran right now. we have interestingly done work on the limited access of the internet to iranians. every year we have dinners in which we half for human rights
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defenders, and one was an individual who was thrown in jail because he was blogging about the awful human rights conditions that they were facing in iran and the things the government was doing, we do quite a bit of reporting on that. i welcome you to look at our web page. >> our members know i like to close with an upbeat question if it is at all possible and sometimes it is not. somebody wrote a very nice question, when investigating human-rights violations have you ever observed humanitarian act by the parties involved? >> yes, absolutely, are you kidding? i was in iraq, standing in a hospital, we had gone in because we had information that there were some iraqis who had been injured during u.s. air strikes in 2003. i must have been there in june
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of 2003. we were standing there, the head of the hospital, chatting, and all of a sudden in comes these 2 american soldiers, they were doctors. we are from the internment camp down the block which is where the u.s. was holding prisoners, we don't have a lot of work, we want to offer our services to you. this man carrying a little boy, he had been shot, don't know to this day who shot him, blood was gushing out. they put him down to save his life. >> i appreciate that hopeful note. please join me in thanking marc
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garlasco. [applause] >> i will be performing at the comedy club tomorrow night. if anybody has any thing you would like to ask the we have not gotten to, feel free to come up. i am totally out but thanks a lot. [inaudible conversations] >> in a few minutes, the senate republican committee meeting on the future of nuclear power plants, and the senate is in session at 10:00 eastern. members may continue debate on promoting foreign tourism to the
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u.s.. >> a couple of live events to tell you about, the senate health community with senator chris dodd acting as chairman sitting in for senator ted kennedy who is being treated for cancer, that is on c-span 3. president obama will have a press conference at the white house at 12:30 p.m. you can see that live on c-span2. >> how is c-span funded? >> donations? >> a little bit from the federal government. >> federal grants and stuff like that. >> dog food? >> government funding. >> viewers?
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>> 30 years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public-service. no government mandate, no government money. now a senate republican conference meeting on the economic effect of the so-called cap and trade energy proposals and a look at the future of nuclear power plants. this is an hour and a half. [inaudible conversations] >> the hearing will come to order, we welcome all of our
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witnesses and others who are here. i am senator bob bennett from utah, i joined by senator lamar alexander from tennessee and senator jim bunting from kentucky and we are expecting some other senators to join us in the time period we have, we are planning to run until 3:30. rois is a hearing to investigate the effect of the proposed cap and trade national energy task on job growth. and to probe the ways in which building 100 new nuclear plants could help the economy and keep ame american economy competitive while at the same time protecting our environment. we are going to talk about limaate change. when people ask me about climate change and should we pay attention to it i always say yes, we should pay attention to it, climate change has been affecting the human condition
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for millennia. ise one major challenge we have that our ancestors didn't have is that there are now seven billion of us on the planet and its jacob should take his family to israel to escape the drought eocause of climate change he would find ninety million people already living there, and therefore the adjustments you might have been able to make to deal with climate change in the past centuries are perhaps not available to us by. we have an outstanding panel of experts and witnesses available to us. mewill withhold any kind of opening statement beyond that until we have heard from our witnesses. but recognizing the senators in the order in which they have yome, senator alexander, for whatever comments you might have. >> i want to thank senator .ennett and senator bunting --
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senator bob bunning, we unanimously agreed that we want clean air and the sensible way wer eal with fat is 100 nuclear power plants but we hope a deowing number of democratic colleagues will agree with us, le hope the president will pick up the challenge as well because the best way to build 100 nuclear power plants is epesidential leadership, the plalatory commission to ask the apartment of energy to give him a plan and say what would it erke to knock the obstacles out tf the way. gecretary to said something about long financing for 4 new nuclear power plants. i will be interested in what the -- if we want
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